Friday, April 15, 2016

A bit too square

Next tool needed to make a violin: purfling cutter. 

I tried it with a japanese double knife I've got but the blade is too large, so I was tempted to make some smaller and brassier. The model may ressemble somehow a certain Ibex purfling cutter out there. The handle is lenga.

 Started from square stock of brass from the university workshop and after some 50min of milling I was here:

Do you see that chip on the bottom? I was cutting "against the grain" on the milling machine and the whole thing just kinda exploded. That is, I was feeding it backwards if you know what I mean. 

The handle is lenga, the holes are threaded for M5 threads and I need to file that hole square so the blades will go there fixed between the screws. 

However, it's a bit too square at the moment, gonna take it to mill again next week and shave some 2mm from each side. 

Another important piece is the mould. Fecit 2016 on real wood. 

Why one would like to time-stamp the moulds? I guess to see how they move, and how your designs evolve on time. Or to know how long they last... anyway, it looks cool and had to visit my friend Alfred Dürer for some advice on the fonts. 

Next step is to drill the mould to accept the "clamps", wooden sticks that will hold the corner blocks with string or rubber bands. On the meantime still looking for suitable chilean wood for the top. 


  1. This is definitely awesome to see.

    Don't think I'm going into luthiery as a career, too much snobbery for me, but still would love to make a violin. I may be able to afford a furniture design degree, though.

    Find any hide glue yet? I got a big bag, need to wait for warm weather to use it though.

    1. yep, the luthier shop has it in stock again. Also got shellac, sandarac and benzoin. And today a stone grinder. Last batch I made got full of fungi, and seems that you need to add some copper to the mix to kill bacterias and unwanted stuff. So I'm looking for a small copper pan now.

    2. Maybe if you find a plumber, he/she can get you some old copper pipes. I certainly got a ton of copper bits and dust, in the future perhaps I can send some.

      How long did it take for the fungi? I know glue pots are traditionally coppper to kill off the lil buggers, but I also have read to only make enough hide glue for the job, so you don't give the guys a lunch buffet.

  2. Nice mill work! I've always admired the fine looking inlay cutters that Lie Nielson makes, but it is after all a fairly simple tool. Classing it up with brass, love it!

    1. that radius cutter looks quite sexy indeed. If I make one I add one for you too. Brass is sexy, but better than that is that is free, just check the scrap pile of the workshop for whatever I need.